Monday, July 29, 2013

Media & Negative Messages

Monday is back which means back to alarms and waking up early. Even though, I had set up my alarm for 7:00 AM, I woke up at 7:30 AM. It took me 10 minutes to get ready and at 7:50 AM, I went to lobby where I met Faith, Vivian, Suzanne, Angela, Sarah and Crystal. All of us left for breakfast. Since the closest dinning commons, Ratty, is closed, we had to walk all the way to V-Dubb to get out breakfast. It takes about 15 minutes to get there. V-Dubb was full of new students who had arrived yesterday for other class. I have always liked V-Dubb and its food but I miss Ratty which was barely crowded. 

Our class
Inside the classroom

After we were done with breakfast, we left for our class. The class was in new building and it was surrounded by new technology. We all sat in a circular table and there was a television where “Superwoman” song was being played. On the first half of the class, we went over things we had talked last week and made a collage using magazines. Review helps me refresh the memory of all the things we learnt on past week. 

When a baby is born, it is assigned particular sex. Society gives it a gender and roles according to the baby’s gender. Later, in life the baby will reinforce this and cycle of socialization continues. I have never thought of all this but I am being exposed to all the things that lies in our society. Gender construction has been continuously followed in our society and no one has tried to speak against it. The way I have looked at society has been changed immensely; I am a fan of movies such as Cinderella or Snow white but I never saw that girls in these movies were often shown as indoor household person who can only be rescued by her prince. 

Part of my Collage
Individually, we made a collage using magazines where we had to show our leadership life map, major events of our life and where we see us in our future. I enjoyed making my collage and mapping out important events that made me who I am. After getting in a small group, each of us shared our collage. My group’s collages were very creative and each of us had some event in a past that made us who we are now. We also got to listen other classmates’ stories and some of them were very inspirational and heart touching. 

Dean Almandrez let us leave early for lunch. Again, V-Dubb was very crowded but we did find a seat. Second half of class started and we watched Miss Representation which was about the misrepresentation of women in media. Media plays a role in influencing our culture and every day our brain is shaped things we see in media. The value of women seems to depend on their looks. It is terrible to see how media portrays women. It was surprising to see how women leaders are made fun of and no matter what their position is they are judged by their looks. I had failed to see that all this things happen through media but Miss Representation brought it to my notice. This movie was focused on United States only but if it was focused around the world, I am sure there would be a lot of these problems. As we watched the movie, there were facts given to us which shocked me.

“15% of rape survivors are under the age of 12.” Sometimes people see girls as a toy to play with and due to this many of them are left emotional and destroyed for rest of their life.

“Americans spend 10 hours and 45 minutes on media (television, magazines, online).” Media plays huge part in our society. Unknowingly, I waste my time watching shows and judging people as they are shown in media. 

“There are only 17% of women in House of Representative.” Because there are not many women in government, it is hard to make our voice heard.

“53% of 13 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies. That number increases to 78% by age 17.” Media portrays perfect women as the ones with slim body, face with lot of makeup and this leaves mark on young girl’s mind that to be perfect is to be slim which leads to eating disorder. 

“We spend more money on beauty products than on education.” No one ever thinks, if we spend our money wisely we can help many of people get better education. Many of us spend and waste our money being that perfect woman shown in the advertisements or movies.

I was unaware of so many things and I am sure more than half of the people in United States are uninformed about the way media works. If there is no step taken, media will continue to take over our brain and provide wrong ideas about women. As a young generation, we need to start thinking about these issues so that coming generation will not have to face it.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
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